Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quantum Aspects of Game Theory

Pass The Pigs by Kaptain Kobold
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Hagen Lindstädt and Jürgen Müller, authors of Making Game Theory work for Managers, explain the ways in which Game Theory can be used to help business, as well as the ways managers may misuse the theory. This is also a good model for teachers to use when developing a plan to implement standards, teach content, affect student behavior and more.

One problem with using any model, is trying to cherry pick the "best, right" answer to a particular circumstance and not deviating from the plan, even when the scenario changes.

As the authors state so well, the best way to use Game Theory is to develop a "...range of outcomes".

As teachers get closer to the points where the various outcomes diverge, there is usually more data that can be used to revamp the model and hone in on the point of actual reality.
Making game theory work for managers
In times of uncertainty, game theory should come to the forefront as a strategic tool, for it offers perspectives on how players might act under various circumstances, as well as other kinds of valuable information for making decisions.
it’s often misused to provide a single, overly precise answer to complex problems.
The key is to use the discipline to develop a range of outcomes based on decisions by reasonable actors and to present the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winsome Wednesday: Google Friend Connect

What blog roll web application do you use? Do you use a WordPress blog, a Blogspot format, or some other format? Does this make a difference when it comes to choosing a blog roll visual web application?

As I continue the Winsome Wednesday feature, we'll look at a utilitarian web application, Google Friend Connect. Used effectively, it can improve productivity and increase the amount of time you can spend reading blogs of people in your Professional Learning Network.

I've used several blog roll web applications in the past. Now I'm using the Google Friend Connect application that comes with my blogger application. I try to support those who follow my blog by following their blog. I also follow other blogs that I use for reference material.

New additions were added to my blog dashboard. The folks at Blogger added a place called READING LIST where you can read the blogs that you joined through Google Friend Connect, as well as Blogger Buzz and Blogs of Note.

I like the simplicity of the Google Friend Connect function for my blog. Anytime I open my blog, I can go to my dashboard and read the posts written by any of the bloggers I follow. If I want to comment or link to their blogs, I can easily do that.

I would like to recommend Google Friend Connect to my Professional Learning Network (PLN). You may want to consider using the Google Friend Connect in the place of the traditional Blog Roll. There are many advantages, besides saving space in your sidebar. People can still refer to bloggers you would list in your Blog Roll, because these same people are now displayed in your Google Friend Connect web application.

Any reader who wants to follow other bloggers in my PLN can just click on their name in my Google Friend Connect box. Do you use the Google Friend Connect box? If so, please add your name to the Google Friend Connect web application on my blog. If not, please consider adding some type of blog roll web application, like Google Friend Connect to your blog.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Qualitative Research: Using Technology in Class

bandwagon on web2.0 colors by davemc500hats
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

In this article, Engaging Students with Engaging Tools Ed Webb has created a wonderful example of what I like to see, a reprise of a qualitative study into the uses of technology in the regular progression of improving students' use of technology while teaching class at the college level. Any teacher could use Ed Webb's protocol and replicate this research in their class.

A teacher could even expand on this research by giving a formal pre-post test of technology skills and an interest inventory. Using Google Forms, a teacher could easily present the tests and survey (inventory).
clipped from

Engaging Students with Engaging Tools

Engaging Students with Engaging Tools

  • A new course teaching media, mass communication, and political identities in the Middle East and North Africa explored the use of social media in pursuit of effective learning.

  • Using a variety of social media and other tools encouraged student engagement in and out of the classroom.

  • Student responses varied from discomfort with the technology to enthusiastic adoption and continued use after the course ended.
  • The 21 students in the class ranged from first years to seniors and came from several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Some were majoring in Middle East Studies or International Studies with a Middle East concentration, while others had little or no background in the region. At the start of the class almost all had Facebook accounts. Only one had a blog. None used Twitter. I inferred from their comments that comfort levels with digital technology ranged widely,
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    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Another Balkanized Technology Rip-Off

    Choices by koalazymonkey
    Attribution-NoDerivs License

    What new technology do you have that isn't already obsolete as soon as you buy it? Over the past thirty years, I can only think of one instance. I did actually buy a computer that didn't become obsolete within three years. Obsolescence is understandable it if the technology is truly developing, especially if greatly enhanced unique products are being produced. That doesn't happen very often.

    From vinyl formats to programs to online image formats to music formats, the balkanized world of technology has introduced its most recent addition: E-BOOK READERS.

    The concept of importance here is that the e-book reader world is balkanized, separated....segregated, for no good reason. One might surmise that it is greedy desire for exuberant overspending by the consumer. What is the purpose of planned obsolescence? Is this what drives the separation and format variations among the electronic publishers and e-book reader manufacturers?

    Each e-book reader accepts a few electronic publication formats. NO e-BOOK READER accepts all formats of electronic publishing. This is the Betamax debacle all over again.

    With a crippled world economy, I would suggest that e-book reader manufacturers and sellers should remember that the world has changed. Consumers can’t cavalierly be the engine of commerce. I believe that BUYING just for the sake of consumption must stop. It’s neither sustainable nor ethical.

    PC World recently tested seven of the latest e-book readers that were available, except the newest one: Barnes & Noble’s Nook. It’s not available for testing yet.

    I believe that the company who makes an e-book reader with access to all formats of electronic publications will win the market in the end. Pssst: publishers are you listening? You could solve this problem by selecting a publishing standard or allowing conversions to a variety of electronic publishing formats.
    clipped from
    If you think the universe of e-book readers begins with the Kindle 2 and ends with the Kindle DX, think again. That universe is expanding rapidly. We recently completed thorough hands-on testing of seven of the top e-readers available today and came to a surprising conclusion: Our number one choice isn't from Amazon at all; it's the Sony Reader Touch Edition.
    Sony's $300 reader matches the Kindle 2's screen size and quality but adds a touchscreen and support for free e-books and Adobe ePub, an e-book file format that book publishers and resellers have widely embraced. Whereas Adobe's PDF reproduces a fixed image of a page, ePub permits text to reflow in order to accommodate different fonts and font sizes.
    Of course, no company's lead in the rapidly evolving e-reader market is safe.
    Barnes & Noble
    announced its Nook e-reader
    most people who got a peek at the device seemed to love it.
    Nook isn't yet available for thorough testing, however.
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    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Getting Started in Web2.0

    Getting Started in Web 2.0
    is a great presentation to help develop activities to use when building effective school communities with Web2.0 tools.

    You can encourage parent interactions with the school and teachers that will ultimately improve the learning of children. This wonderful school presentation was created using Google Docs. You can use it as a guide for several activities in the learning practices of a school community.
    1. Professional Development for teachers and staff.
    2. Parent meeting presentation
    3. Class lesson
    4. School Board meeting

    Use this presentation, by Dan Noble, as a springboard for your own parent interaction presentation. That's what the author is hoping.

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Do You Lock Your Doors?

    "Key Note" by william.neuheisel
    Attribution License
    Have you had trouble with spammers, phishers or other internet interlopers? Many of my Professional Learning Network, including me, have recently experienced troubles with our various interactive social networks, including blog comments and Twitter. There is also the less obvious, yet serious problem: thieves that steal your postings without attributing the work to you.

    Do You Lock Your Online Doors? In the beginning, I didn't, but now I do. At first, I just tried to avoid the issue of phishing, spamming and theft. I ignored the Direct Messages, deleted the spam comments and stopped blogging. From my own experiences, that makes you more vulnerable which seems to be just what these people want. Just as you do at your own home, I would like to recommend that you take a more proactive stance against personal attacks. To begin with, I'd suggest that you LOCK YOUR DOORS!

    The first time a phisher captured my Twitter account, I thought it was an accident. This first phisher was an educational group communicating with me. Eventually, as I discussed the problem on Twitter, they stopped sending their tweets of new blog posts in my name.

    Unlocking by Gabriela Camerotti
    Attribution-NonCommercial License
    Even after that experience, I was naive. I didn't realize that some SEO's follow you with the hope that you will follow them. When you do follow them, they stop following you. They capture your Direct Messages to promote their new products, games, or blog posts. When you call their attention to it, they don't know what you are talking about since they don't even follow you. I wonder if you have had any similar experience?

    Finally, I changed my password. That was very aggravating, but it did stop the phishing. I had to remember: "Lock the Doors!".

    Another recent problem is spamming comments on my blog posts. Some of my professional learning network recommended allowing comments to go right to my blog, and I believed that would allow people to comment with the least trouble. That worked well for me for over two years, yet "a good deed never goes unpunished". Do you still allow open commenting without approval? If so, how do you deal with spammers?

    Over the past two months, I've had at least five different spammers attack my blog comments section. I didn't notice it at first, as they were adding their spam comments to my older posts. Fortunately, I found them in the email notifications when new comments appear on my blog.

    I wanted to counteract the spamming, but still allow unrestricted comments on my new posts. These are some of the measures that I instituted for this blog.

    I locked down the comment postings on my old posts, and these comments had to be approved before they would be posted. That worked for about a week, but the spammers started direct attacks on my new posts. Has this happened to you?

    In the end, I've changed all my blog comments approval system. Your comments must be approved before they will appear on my blog. Philosophically, I'm opposed to that. I want my readers to KNOW that all comments will be posted. I want to assure you that all comments, negative or positive, will be posted, unless they are off-topic spamming. How are you solving this blog comment spamming problem?

    The last problem is the most offensive to me personally, just because it is so personal. I use one of the most generous Creative Commons copyrighting licenses available, but some people ignore it. They seem so desperate to appear creative and original that they don't make attributions of other blogger's work on their blog posts. Have you experienced this problem?

    How did I discover it? Just as I discover cheaters in my classes, they usually give themselves up. Many are loosely connected to me in my professional learning network (PLN). When they advertise a new blog post about a topic of interest to me, I want to read it. My original intent is to learn more, but then I'm disappointed to find they use the same links that I've found to discuss the same idea from MY perspective. What's worse is the use of direct quotes from my blog posts without attributions. I'm flattered that they take my ideas or my words, but I would appreciate a simple link to my original article.

    How are you dealing with this phenomena? My original response was to stop posting. That's a dead end proposal, because I want to write about my ideas, experiences and practices.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Glogster Education: DIY for teachers

    Try out the Glogster Education website. It's easy to add your students, and they don't have to have an email address. The teacher has control over the project distribution and content. Save money, resources and the environment by eliminating the need for traditional posters. These can be saved in .jpg format and displayed on monitors or digital photo frames.

    You may use my sample, but I would appreciate it if you would link to this article or cite my work.

    If you are using Glogster, what do you think of the product? What was your experience?